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CMS Releases Disturbing Data on Hospital-Acquired Conditions

CQ HealthBeat reports, “Federal officials announced Wednesday the release of data allowing consumers to learn how often patients in local hospitals acquire infections, develop bed sores or are harmed by gas or air bubbles entering blood vessels.” Notably, information “on these and other ‘hospital-acquired conditions’ will guide consumers in picking hospitals and prod facilities themselves to make improvements, officials said.” CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick stated, “Any potentially preventable complication of care is unacceptable.” He added that the agency is “working together with the hospital and consumer community to bring hospital acquired conditions into the forefront,” and prevent patients from being harmed.

The Hill reports in its “Healthwatch” blog, “Medicare beneficiaries for the first time will have access to data about hospital-acquired condition (HAC) rates.” For more than two years, CMS has “banned reimbursements for care resulting from HACs, and the healthcare reform law enacted a year ago requires the same policy to be extended to state Medicaid programs.”

Study: Hospitals, regulators may record just 10 percent of errors. Bloomberg News reports, “Hospitals and US regulators fail to record at least 90 percent of patient injuries, infections and other safety issues,” according to a new review, which “uncovered 354 so-called adverse events, such as pressure sores, bloodstream infections and medication errors, at three US teaching hospitals.” In fact, “a system designed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality identified 35 cases at the same facilities while the hospitals’ voluntary reporting programs found four, according to the study,” which utilized the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Global Trigger Tool to arrive at these conclusions.

Modern Healthcare reports, “The study’s authors warned that hospitals using voluntary reporting systems alone to assess patient safety ‘may be seriously misjudging actual performance.’” In addition, they “cautioned against reliance on AHRQ’s Patient Safety Indicators, which missed most of the events identified by the IHI’s tool, they said.”

Reuters reports that the research appeared in the journal Health Affairs and were supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Falls, burns, trauma most common patient injuries in Utah hospitals. The Salt Lake Tribune reports, “Falls, burns or other types of trauma are the most common injuries that patients experience while staying in Utah hospitals, a problem they appear to experience more often than patients nationally,” according to data disclosed by Medicare which report “how often hospitals report serious conditions and complications that developed during a patient’s stay.” The Tribune points out, “Of the 31 Utah hospitals analyzed, 17 reported a total of 56 falls or injuries caused by trauma.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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